As the summer heats up, more and more boats hit the Deschutes River to take advantage of the plentiful waters and wildlife. Before you hit the waves in your boat this year, be sure to follow our boating safety tips to keep you and your family safe on the water.
Create a Pre-Departure Checklist
When ensuring you have done everything necessary to properly prepare for your trip, it can be difficult to keep everything straight. This leads to items being forgotten or important details overlooked. That’s why it’s a good idea to create a pre-departure checklist. Make sure it includes everything you need to bring, like water, life jackets, and fishing supplies, and also make sure it includes everything you need to check, like fuel and oil levels, safety gear, and weather. If you take a boating course, which is recommended, you’ll learn how to create the right pre-departure checklist for your boat.
Designate an Assistant Captain
If it’s your boat, you’ll likely be the one driving it, but sometimes you can’t be the person behind the wheel. Just in case something should happen and you can’t take the wheel, it’s a good idea to have at least one more person who can drive the boat for you. Let everyone know who your assistant captain is, so there are no arguments should the event arise they need to take action.
Communicate Your Float Plan
Even if you follow our safety precautions, boating is not inherently safe. Because of this, it’s important to let someone know your float plan. This should include contact information for everyone on the trip, your boat’s type and registration info, and your itinerary. Make sure your itinerary shows all the places you’ll hit along the way so people know where to search should you go missing.
Use Required Safety Gear
On many waterways, safety gear like lifejackets are required. It’s important that you have one for every person on the trip and that they fit properly. Checking the fit should be part of your pre-departure checklist. As an added note, it’s also important that everyone on board knows how to swim. Although they’ll be wearing life jackets, this is an extremely important life-saving skill to have.
Use Common Sense
Following safety precautions like these is a no brainer, but when you’re out on the water, make sure you’re using that brain! Use common sense when navigating busy waterways, keep clear of large vessels, drive at a safe speed, and don’t drink alcoholic beverages.
If you’re operating your own boat, then these safety concerns should be addressed right away. If you don’t own your own boat, stop by Imperial River Company for a whitewater rafting trip you’ll never forget. The experienced guides will take you through the safety checklist and will make sure your Oregon rafting trip is exciting yet safe.